PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (August 11, 2020) – It’s only fitting that an app for historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) was created at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU). Professor Yonggao Yang has designed the HBCUs Info app, an information hub for users to explore every HBCU in the country.
“I’ve been a professor at PVAMU since 2002 and considered myself very familiar with HBCUs, but I learned I actually wasn’t,” said Yang, professor and head of the Department of Computer Science in the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering. “I didn’t know how many HBCUs existed, their geographic distribution, rankings, and more. I decided to create an HBCU database to collect this information and publish an app so people could access all of the data on their smart devices.”
The free app hosts information for all 107 HBCUs in the country, including institution name, type, U.S. News & World Report ranking, enrollment, room and board cost, tuition and fees, and student-to-faculty ratio.
“The app has three tabs — HBCUs Map, which allows users to search and sort institutions with various parameters and mark results, HBCUs List, which is a simple table view, and About HBCUs,” Yang said. “The app also has a ‘Do you Know?’ feature that displays fast facts, such as the first established HBCU.”
Yang created the app ten days after Apple announced PVAMU as one of its new HBCU Hubs for Coding & Creativity, a partnership that brings coding and iOS application development training to learners of all ages in the Greater Houston and Waller County areas. The effort is part of Apple’s Community Education initiative, which aims to advance educational equity by bringing coding, creativity, and workforce development to communities. Currently, the initiative extends to 24 locations across the U.S., 12 of which are HBCUs.
This isn’t the first app that Yang has created. He has taught smart device app design and development for six years and has published several free apps, including PVU360, which offers a virtual tour of PVAMU’s campus, and Photo360, an app that displays photos in 3D.While participating in the Apple HBCU coding workshop for faculty members, Yang designed, implemented, tested, and got the app approved. “I’m glad to be part of a program that will benefit PVAMU’s academic programs, students, and community,” he said.